My Life behind the gun!
Your imagination can run away with you when you live in a small town. You have goals that may seem impossible. When your Dad is a living legend known for his talent and craftsmanship in building gorgeous cars, it shouldn’t be surprising that you would want to follow in his footsteps. The example was certainly there and that is exactly what Fidel Alan Banuelos did.
Fidel was born to Alexandra and Fidel Banuelos on May 23, 1976, in Chihuahua, Mexico. Alan is the oldest child. He has two brothers and one sister.
The Banuelos family moved to Wolfforth, Texas, in 1978 when Alan was 2 years old. His Mom and Dad were a huge influence in his life. Alan’s Mom is his best friend. His Dad is his hero. Alan’s Dad taught him about body lines, perfect gaps and mirror like paint. Alan was a natural, because his Dad taught him at an early age. Alan doesn’t remember not being around cars in his life. If that wasn’t enough encouragement, Alan’s Uncle Antonio was a welder and Master Mechanic. His Uncle Jose was an engineer and mechanic. With a family background with those credentials, it is easy to see why Alan was destined for greatness.
Alan’s early years were spent playing baseball and football. He collected Hot Wheels cars, read Hot Rod magazine and always had a love for the old Hot Rods and Muscle Cars. Alan had another amazing talent. Alan’s imagination allowed him to dream big. He would take this to another level. Alan is an extraordinary artist and was able to draw his dreams. This was only the beginning of his craft. Cars are Alan’s canvas now. His artistry, creation and talent are prominently displayed throughout all of his builds.
In addition to the influence from Alan’s Dad and uncles - a combination of trial and error, persistence and the ultimate goal of reaching perfection molded Alan into a craftsman. The imagination, dreams and vision that Alan had as a kid is now becoming a reality in every car that he builds. Alan’s greatest influence is his daughter Ruby. She gave her Dad the drive and inspiration to be the best.
When Alan was 24 years old, he completed his first restoration which was a 1957 Chevy. Up until that time, Alan only did collision work. This was just a little different and a bit more challenging because of the rust issues. Alan cut out all of the rust and welded new metal in place until the ‘57 was rust free. Alan coated the ‘57 in primer, completed all body work and painted the car. It was a labor intensive process, but Alan loved the journey returning the ‘57 back to its former glory.
Alan’s Dad always had cool old cars. Many didn’t run, but Alan’s Dad had a passion for collecting them. Alan’s dream car is a 1955 Chevy Bel Air 2 Door Hardtop. Alan has had an impressive collection of cars during his lifetime. He owned a few Camaros, drove a 1970 Monte Carlo SS 454 in high school and had a ‘55 Chevy Bel Air 4 door. Alan’s uncle gave him a 1962 Corvette. Unfortunately, the Corvette was sold to finance the opening of Alan’s shop. That is the car Alan wishes that he never sold. Alan has built many First Generation Camaros and would like to buy one for his collection someday. Alan still has quite a collection of classic cars. He currently owns a 1966 Dodge Charger, 1966 Ford Falcon, 1953 Chevy 150 business coupe and a 1974 Opel Sportswagon. The Charger is Alan’s daily driver.
Some of his current projects at the shop are a 1951 Chevy Stepside 5 window pickup, and a numbers matching 1968 Chevelle SS 396 that is undergoing a correct frame off restoration. He is also going to paint a 2012 Cadillac. The original color is pearl white. When the Cadillac leaves the shop, the new color will be Kandy Kobalt Blue. These are the last three projects that are being completed at the shop in Magnolia, Texas. Alan is relocating to Lubbock, Texas, so he will be closer to his family. Alan does it all. He does all of the mechanical work, bodywork, custom metal fabrication and paint. It looks like Alans’s dreams from long ago have come full circle. With all of his talent, the people in Lubbock will be lucky to have Alan nearby.
By Tory DiBlasi